Literary Fiction – Love in the Cretaceous

Love in the CretaceousLove in the Cretaceous
By Howard W. Robertson
Publisher: Anaphora Literary Press
Published: May 2017
ISBN: 978-1681143323 (pb)
ISBN: 978-1681143330 (hc)
Pages: 130
Genre: Literary Fiction

Love in the Cretaceous takes place in a dinosaur park in Oregon a hundred years in the future. Ted Beebe has lost the love of his life and must suddenly find his way alone in old age. He finds young people to take the place of his wife and himself in assuring the survival of Cretaceous World, the park his wife and he created. Global warming has proceeded as predicted, and the fate of Homo sapiens has become obviously uncertain. People come to see the genetically engineered recreations of dinosaurs and are made more aware of humanity’s own vulnerability to extinction. Ted succeeds in creating a new family structure whose three generations will guide the park through the immediate future. He also keeps alive his wife’s memory while coping with the challenges of the uncertain future.

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Recent Praise for Love in the Cretaceous:

“Rollicking, fresh, engaging, offbeat, zany, memorable.” – Publishers Weekly

“Love in the Cretaceous turns everything you learned from Jurassic Park on its head. In Robertson’s Oregon, one hundred years from now, dinosaurs roam the earth, while humans are busy cutting off their own exit. Robertson, a notable local poet and fiction writer, throws his readers into the soup with love, loss, and extinction (and a very sinister cameo); the thrills in this one are metaphysical as well as primordial, as you’ll see when you dip in.” — SeattleReviewofBooks.com

Love in the Cretaceous Author Howard W. RobertsonAbout the Author:
Howard W. Robertson lives in Eugene, Oregon, where his ancestors arrived as members of the Lost Wagon Train of 1853. He has previously published two books of fiction and ten books of poetry. He has won the Sinclair Poetry Prize, the Robinson Jeffers Prize for Poetry, the Bumbershoot Award, and numerous other competitions. His work has been published in Nest, Literal Latté, Nimrod, Fireweed, and many other journals. His poetry has been anthologized in many collections, including The Clear Cut Future and The Ahsahta Anthology: Poetry of the American West. His work has been deeply influenced by a lifelong love of Russian literature. For more about Howard W. Robertson, see his webpage: www.howardwrobertson.com

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Literary Fiction – Skyline: Tales of Manhattan

Skyline Tales of ManhattanSkyline: Tales of Manhattan
By William Ivor Fowkes
ISBN: 978-1517715502
ASIN: B018YNJ0AU
Pages: 265
Genre: Literary Fiction, Short Story Collection

In SKYLINE: TALES OF MANHATTAN, award-winning playwright and author William Ivor Fowkes presents stories of New Yorkers—gay, straight, and confused—making startling connections and discoveries. On the West Side, a man approaching his 60th birthday tries a new haircut, with disastrous consequences. On the East Side, a Park Avenue Republican gets a taste of life on the “down low” in Central Park. In the East Village, a struggling writer papers his kitchen wall with rejection letters. In SoHo, a graphic designer takes drastic steps to get the attention of her editor. At MOMA, a woman physically attacks a man examining a sculpture she doesn’t like. Downtown, a transplanted New Orleans cabaret singer deals with life and love in the aftermath of 9/11. There are 19 stories in all—enough to demonstrate that Manhattan’s residents are just as striking as the city’s celebrated skyline.

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Skyline Tales of Manhattan Author William Ivor FowkesAbout the Author:
William Ivor Fowkes is a playwright and author based in Manhattan and Connecticut. His short fiction has been published in many literary journals. His plays have been presented in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Several have been published. Several have been broadcast on the radio. His full-length plays include ALL IN THE FACULTY (Dramatists Play Service), SUNSHINE QUEST (Fresh Fruit Festival), PRIVATE PROPERTY (The Players Ring), THE BEST PLACE WE’VE EVER LIVED (Love Creek Productions), COUPLE OF THE CENTURY (Downtown Urban Theater Festival), THE GERMAN LESSON (Great Plains Theatre Conference Playlabs), and others. His short plays include THE DAKOTA (Best Short Play, Downtown Urban Theater Festival), THE BRAZILIAN DILEMMA (First Prize, McLean Drama Company; film version by Collective NY Films), THE NEXT MOVE (Best New One-Act Play, Brevard Theater), THE SESSION (Pushcart Prize Nominee), TABLE MANNERS IN CHICAGOLAND (Winner, Nor’Eastern Play Writing Contest), AN ACCIDENT IN THE PARK (William Inge Theatre Festival), A REMARKABLE MAN (Gallery Players, Brooklyn), and others. He has been a FINALIST for the Reva Shiner Comedy Award (Bloomington Playwrights Project) and the W. Keith Hedrick Playwriting Contest (HRC Showcase Theatre) and a SEMI-FINALIST for the Playwrights First Award (National Arts Club), the Promising Playwright Award (Colonial Players, MD), and the Princess Grace Playwriting Award. He is a graduate of Yale University (B.A., magna cum laude) and Northwestern University (M.A., PhD) and a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Pulse Ensemble Theatre Playwrights’ Lab. He was formerly a philosophy professor and a marketing executive at several media companies, including Showtime and HBO. He is married to Stephen Michael Smith, a music conductor. His daughters, Laura and Julia, work in the fashion industry in New York City.

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Literary Fiction/Coming of Age – The Man Who Loved Too Much – Book 1: Archipelago

The Man Who Loved Too MuchThe Man Who Loved Too Much – Book 1: Archipelago
By John Rachel
Publisher: Literary Vagabond Books
ISBN: 978-1312583887
ASIN: B00OKKA3OO
Pages: 204
Genre: Literary Fiction, Coming of Age

Poor Billy Green! When he was just turning four, his father tried to throw him in the trash. He was a smart kid but that just seemed to create enemies. His mom did everything to protect him. But this was Detroit, armpit of the wasteland! Catholic school didn’t help much, except the time he got his first kiss from an atheist nun. Home life was dismal. Was his father capable of anything but drinking beer and farting? And what was with that neighbor who made puppets and tried to molest Billy? Golly! Detroit was sucking the life out of him. At such a young age. Then adolescence swirled around him. Like water in a toilet bowl. High school was a B movie. Only without a plot. So finally he did something about it. Billy ran away … to college. Cornell University. That was a good move for sure! He studied hard, lost his virginity, met the love of his life. Things were definitely looking up! What could possibly go wrong?

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Other Books in The Man Who Loved Too Much  Series:

The Man Who Loved Too Much TWOThe Man Who Loved Too Much – Book 2: Entendre
By John Rachel
Publisher: Literary Vagabond Books
ISBN: 978-0692409763
ASIN: B00URFLVVU
Pages: 224
Genre: Literary Fiction, Coming of Age

The Billy Green saga continues! Billy’s challenging, sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic, always unpredictable journey.

He was more determined than ever to find meaning in life and comfort in love.

Billy came to know one thing for sure.

Love is real.

He could now with the absolute cocksure confidence of pure enlightenment, scoff at the naysayers and spit in the face of the purveyors of romantic nihilism, the cynics who say that love is an illusion.

Billy knew the real score.
Love is the light that never dims.
Love is a wine that flows in our hearts.
Love is a wonder that has no beginning or end.
Love is a master key that opens the gates of perfection.
Love is the language our souls use to speak to one another.
Love is the trafficking of fantasies and transcending of mortality.
Love is an energy that can neither be created or destroyed.
Love is God Allah Yahweh Shiva Qat Aphrodite.
Love is touch smell feel taste listen pray.
Love is the poetry of the senses.
Love is metaphysical gravity.
Love is the gift of oneself.
Love is sweet tyranny.
All you need is love.

Descartes. You almost got it right.
Je aime, donc je suis.

Yes. That’s how it should go.
I love, therefore I am.

Valentines Day solipcism.

But does it ever turn out the way we planned? The way we hoped and dreamed?

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The Man Who Loved Too Much THREEThe Man Who Loved Too Much – Book 3: Oxymoron
By John Rachel
Publisher: Literary Vagabond Books
ISBN: 978-0692476888
ASIN: B010RMM2AQ
Pages: 200
Genre: Literary Fiction, Coming of Age

How do we function in a world which is both as randomly and intentionally cruel, as it is randomly and intentionally kind? Can we make sense of our lives when so much around us makes no sense?

In this, the final book of the trilogy, we find out what it means to be a “man who loves too much”. More importantly, we discover if Billy Green is such a man.

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About the Author:
The Man Who Loved Too Much Author - John RachelJohn Rachel has a B.A. in Philosophy, has traveled extensively, been a songwriter and music producer, political activist and is a bipolar humanist. Since 2008, when he first embarked on his career as a novelist, he has had eight fiction and three non-fiction books published. These range from three satires and a coming-of-age trilogy, to a political drama and recently a crime thriller. The three non-fiction works were also political, his attempt to address the crisis of democracy and pandemic corruption in the governing institutions of America.

Never knowing when enough is enough, the hyperthyroid Rachel continues to be very busy. He has three more novels in the pipeline for publication late 2017 through 2018: Sex, Lies and Coffee Beans, a spoof on the self-help crazes of the 80s and 90s; Love Connection, a drug-trafficking thriller set in Japan; and finally The Last Giraffe, an anthropological drama involving both the worship and devouring of giraffes, which unfolds in 19th Century sub-Saharan Africa.

John Rachel’s last permanent residence in America was Portland, Oregon where he had a state-of-the-art ProTools recording studio, music production house, a radio promotion and music publishing company. He still writes music and, much to the annoyance of his neighbors in the traditional rural Japanese town where he now lives, attempts to sing his original songs.

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Literary Fiction – The Other La Bohème

The Other La BohèmeThe Other La Bohème
By Yorker Keith
Publisher: BookBaby
Published: April 15, 2017
ISBN: 978-1483591988
ASIN: B06VWFW3XZ
Pages: 364
Genre: Literary Fiction

The Other La Bohème is literary fiction that depicts the lives and loves of four friends who pursue opera singers’ careers in present-day New York City. Jennifer (soprano), Stephanie (mezzo-soprano), Henry (tenor), and John (baritone) met in music school in Manhattan, where they performed Puccini’s famous opera La Bohème at their graduation concert. After graduation they banded together as a group called the Dolci Quattro, pledging to support one another in their professional pursuits. Several years later, they have landed the roles of Mimi, Musette, Marcello, and Rodolfo in the nearly forgotten opera La Bohème by Leoncavallo—known as “the other La Bohème”—which is to be produced by the New York Bel Canto Opera.

Alluding to the opera form, the novel opens with an Overture, a hymn that leads into Act I. Scene 1 begins with arias and a duet sung by Henry and Stephanie in the Café Momus. Jennifer and John come in, and they congratulate each other on their new roles. Immediately, though, the thoughts of the current state of their personal lives cool their enthusiasm.

Each Scene that follows is narrated alternately by one of the four members of the Dolci Quattro. As the story unfolds, Jennifer discovers that her fiancé, Richard, an investment banker and a fiction writer, is having an affair with another woman. Stephanie struggles to find a steady love, while perturbed by a strained relationship with her father, a billionaire hedge fund manager, who abandoned her late mother. Henry faces a pressure from his family to renounce his bohemian life for a more respectful career as he meets his new love, Christine, a poet. John receives a summons for divorce from the lawyer of his wife Michelle, a painter.

Set in the rich artistic backdrop of New York City, as the novel proceeds from Act I to Act II, Act III, Intermezzo, and Act IV, the Dolci Quattro’s lives and loves go through ups and downs in joy and despair, while true to their pledge they give one another much-needed moral support. As the opening night nears, the Dolci Quattro make their utmost efforts to perfect their singing for the opera that will determine their future.

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Other Books By Yorker Keith:

Remembrance of Blue RosesRemembrance of Blue Roses
By Yorker Keith
Publisher: BookBaby
Published: April 2016
ISBN: 978-1483562193
ASIN: B018STIFKG
Pages: 294
Genre: Literary Fiction

Remembrance of Blue Roses follows a man and a married couple in New York City, whose intricate relationship oscillates among friendship, love, love-triangle, and even obsession. Its romantic ambience is interwoven with classical music, opera, art, family legend, and international affairs, illuminating the lives of international civil servants at the United Nations and the UN peacekeeping mission in Sarajevo, and those with direct experience of the Israel-Palestinian conflict and the Holocaust.

Mark, the narrator and an American, works for the United Nations in New York as a personnel officer; his friend, Hans, German, also works for the UN as an economist; and Yukari, Japanese and Hans’s wife, is a professional violinist. One day Mark encounters Hans and Yukari in a museum. As Hans enjoys opera singing and Mark is into painting, the three foster their friendship through classical music, opera, and art. Mark resists feeling drawn to his friend’s wife. One evening over dinner, they discover that their families were acquainted generations ago. This bonds them together. During the summer, inspired by the beauty of Yukari in her light blue dress at the UN garden, Hans and Mark secretly plant blue roses there for Yukari. The blue roses later blossom sumptuously. The three enjoy their blue roses, the symbol of their friendship and bond.

The story becomes complicated by the involvement of two other women: Mark’s ex-wife, Francine, a Swiss, who is remarried to another of Mark’s friends in the UN, Shem Tov, an Israeli; and Mark’s high school sweetheart, Jane, to whom he was briefly engaged. Francine encourages Mark to be happy with Yukari, while Jane now wants to marry Mark. Yukari becomes pregnant with Hans’s child and happily settles into her role as expectant mother. Mark, Hans, and Yukari celebrate New Year’s Eve at the height of their friendship and happiness. … Then a series of tragedies shatters their joy and alters their future forever.

… Then a series of tragedies shatters their joy and alters their future forever.

 

Yorker Keith LogoAbout the Author:
Yorker Keith lives in Manhattan, New York City. He holds an MFA in creative writing from The New School. His literary works have been recognized four times in the William Faulkner–William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition as a finalist or a semifinalist.

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Coming of Age/Family Saga – Shadow Heart

shadow-heartShadow Heart
Broken Bottles Series, Book 1
By Pamela Taeuffer
Publisher: Open Heart Books
ISBN: 978-0989952903
ASIN: B00IICDHO8
Pages: 340
Genre: Literary Fiction, Coming of Age, Family Saga

What if you were afraid to even turn the doorknob to your front door when coming home because of what might wait inside? What would it take to make you step out of your shadows, to once and for all break free from the twisted security of familiarity, and take a chance, a little risk, that could change everything?

Nicky Young is a woman who has come of age and is beginning to realize the first layer of her fears carried through her childhood from growing up in a family battling alcoholism. They have impacted her severely when forming relationships.

Abandonment, devaluing, fear of everything good ending—all are why she has been happy to stand back in the shadows. Watching. Observing. Stepping out only when safe. Until Ryan Tilton, a professional baseball player who also has abandonment issues of his own, promises her a relationship that could be like no other.

Now, in order to transition into a life she’d always imagined, she needs to take the first steps of risk to embrace the rise and fall, the love and heartache, and joys of life. Through small steps she struggles to trust, most importantly herself, but also others, enough to let them a little closer. The rage of her father’s addiction pushes and pulls her back, but with all her heart she wants to break free and start a life that is brilliant and unafraid of failure. But can she?

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Other Books in the Broken Bottle Series:

fire-heart-broken-bottles-series-book-twoFire Heart
Broken Bottles Series, Book 2
By Pamela Taeuffer
Publisher: Open Heart Books
ISBN: 978-0989952927
ASIN: B00NE5DSSO
Pages: 367
Genre: Literary Fiction, Coming of Age, Family Saga

My heart is on fire. For the first time in my life I am awake and the desires I’ve pushed down are smoldering. The shadows of my youth are daring me to step away from them, and new visions are circling through my head that include having intimacy in a way I never dreamed of.

My name is Nicky Young. This is my coming of age story and family saga. I have begun to understand if I want to live differently than my parents—an alcoholic father and co-dependent mother—I need to love, forgive, trust and live with an open heart. As I look in the mirror, I am seeing a new woman emerging—one I’m not sure of and trying hard to discover.

Through family dysfunction and by the lack of affection in my household I learned not to get too close. Rage and violence lurked when we became vulnerable and the way I learned to protect myself was to build high and thick walls of defense around my heart. I dream about having a full, open, and intimate relationship. I want a real adult romance with every beat of my heart. But I can’t trust anyone enough—especially myself.

That was until I met Ryan Tilton, a very sexy professional baseball player who lost his father at only fourteen. In many ways we seem to be ancient spirits. He promises to hold me in his arms like I’ve never been held, and is offering me a chance to step out of fear and experience what is like to ask for what I want without being afraid. I feel my heart opening. I feel . . . joy.

This is my battle: A fight to break generational chains of dysfunction and addiction, to understand the choices of my parents, to love and trust myself, so that I can love and trust another. This story is about transitioning into joy. I invite you to follow me on my journey and the struggle I’m desperate to overcome.

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jagged-heart-broken-bottles-series-book-3Jagged Heart
Broken Bottles Series, Book 3
By Pamela Taeuffer
Publisher: Open Heart Books
ISBN: 978-0989952958
ASIN:  B01E81MGUS
Pages: 264
Genre: Literary Fiction, Coming of Age, Family Saga

Swept into a romance with professional baseball player, Ryan Tilton, we’ve just had an evening of dreams—until I wouldn’t have sex with him. I couldn’t risk it. To me, sex means marriage. It means love and forever. I tried to explain. I didn’t hide it. But to him, it means love, acceptance, and that he wouldn’t be abandoned the same way he was when a boy of fourteen and his father was killed in the Middle East. He’s pleaded with me to tell him my feelings and openly tells me he loves me. I can’t repeat the words. Once I do, he’ll abandon me just like my parents—discounting my feelings because they can’t deal with their own. I couldn’t risk it. I knew he’d leave.
Dad battles his alcoholism. Mom embraces her co-dependency. They’ve gambled with their daughters’ mental and physical safety multiple times over the years.

I’m at a crossroads trying to understand this threshold of being an adult, yet emerging from childhood. It’s as if a tornado has taken me into it’s roar spun and tossed me around, breaking me away as I cling to the twisted security of my family—even the word “secure” sends a shiver through me. I’ve never been.

Being raised in an dysfunctional family battling alcoholism whispers, stay hidden in the shadows, be safe, don’t be noticed or share too much.
I know this is it.
I need to take a risk.
I need to let go of old fears, forgive my parents, embrace intimacy and move forward. I need to trust—especially myself—so that I can transition into joy.

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amazing-heart-broken-botles-series-book-4Amazing Heart
Broken Bottles Series, Book 4
By Pamela Taeuffer
Publisher: Open Heart Books
ISBN: 978-0996380614
ASIN:  B01E886M9M
Pages: 2336
Genre: Literary Fiction, Coming of Age, Family Saga

It’s Amazing, but for the first time in my life I have let go of the control. I’ve battled so hard to hold onto the twisted security of my family’s battle with alcoholism—it’s what I’ve known—never risking too much, holding back, so the hurt didn’t cut too deep. Now?

I feel a new life
An unknown.
Vulnerable.
It’s magnificent.
It’s . . . intimacy, being held, letting someone see into my dark places so the light, hidden since a little girl, can finally become brilliant.

It’s amazing. I’m about to shout my love for a man who seems to understand me like no one ever has. After I do, will everything fall apart? In my heart of shadows, the fear of being abandoned beats inside my head with regular rhythms.

“Please take me in your arms,” I say silently. “Accept my dark places. Help me understand you won’t leave me.” Maybe I’m dreaming when he says, “Whatever path we choose, whatever arises, we’ll overcome our fears.”

Have a finally been set free from generational mistakes that are passed forward in our family? Dare I ask for what I want and trust myself enough to share my thoughts, wishes, dreams . . . dare I actually hope in another person? Will he break his promises like my parents did to me? Can I really, really, be alive, be vulnerable, open and reach for deep, sensual intimacy? Can I take a risk and transition into joy?

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shadow-heart-author-pamela-taeufferAbout the Author:
My passion is writing books that tell a love story and family saga of leaving old fears behind as the characters embrace intimacy and transition to joy. My first series, Broken Bottles, details those fears of growing up in a family battling alcoholism. Along with the struggle and pain of a parent’s rage, there is intelligence, strength, and survival. How to love intimately in all relationships is the challenge. For children of trauma, it can take years to let another person come close. When they do? It’s like rainbows cover their heart.

Slowly, you’ll read how my characters become vulnerable, reach for deep, sensual intimacy, and try desperately to let go of their fears. They struggle and risk everything to trust others—and themselves. My stories are about daring to take the baby steps that let them really come alive and in every way, experience and give love.

MAKING MONEY TO CREATE: The small, vacation rental/ property management company I run with my husband and son in Sonoma County, California allows me to have the money for my creative life. I love that I was born and raised in San Francisco. My father introduced me to baseball when I was six. I’ve rung a cable car bell, and went to concerts in Golden Gate Park with my sister where Jimmy Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane and Santana once played.

WHAT I’VE DONE/AM DOING – IT’S A JOURNEY OF DREAMS: Broken Bottles is a four part series. Two books, Shadow Heart and Fire Heart, are ready. Soon to follow are Jagged Heart and Amazing Heart. I’m honored to have 3 poems in an anthology called The Beats Go On, and a story in Sisters Born, Sisters Found. I have released the first book in a series for Introverts called The Introverts Guide to the Galaxy: Attending Conferences.

My Dream? To create beautifully decorated and custom journals with gorgeous paper that accompany each book series: The Introvert’s Journal, A Family Saga Journal, My Body’s Journal, and Trauma: You Can’t Stop Me Journal. Journaling was a lifesaver for me. I was in shock. You may be in shock. Don’t let that keep your heart frozen!

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